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1st in the "Rewriting the Rules of Perfomance Testing" series. Scott Barber and Dan Bartow discuss ways load and performance teams have "cheated" in the past due to constraints that are eliminated ...

1st in the "Rewriting the Rules of Perfomance Testing" series. Scott Barber and Dan Bartow discuss ways load and performance teams have "cheated" in the past due to constraints that are eliminated with new cloud-based approaches to testing.

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    Changing rules 1_stopcheating_slideshare Changing rules 1_stopcheating_slideshare Presentation Transcript

    • SOASTA Webinar SeriesCLOUD TESTING RULE 1:Rewriting the Rules of Stop Cheating and Start RunningPerformance Testing Realistic Tests
    • BC: (Before Cloud)We Worked With What We Had… Before the web, when apps served hundreds, there was… Circa 1991 When apps peaked at thousands, we had a few more options Turn of 21st Century “Virtual Users” were a valuable commodity 1 VU = $1200! Yet many were left wanting Untested websites, 2011: 75%
    • Necessity Led to WorkaroundsHow we’ve “cheated” to get the job done1) Modified “Think Time” to stretch VUsExample 2 virtual users ≠ 1 divided in 2 ≠2) Extrapolated results based on small labtestsEducated or assisted guessing is no matchfor measuring at real scale
    • Necessity Led to WorkaroundsHow we’ve “cheated” to get the job done3) Tested pages or assets in a silo, ignoringrealistic pace and flow of user behaviorOptimizes limited test hardware, butdisregards session states, caching, etc.4) Accepted blind spots by focusing onlimited, single metrics (e.g. response time)Without complete end-to-endviews, everything’s a black box
    • Let’s Look at the NEW RULES Establishing Accuracy and Realism Scott Barber
    • 1) Modifying Think Time: The Wrong Way“If all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail” -- Bernard BaruchTo Cheat a Software License • We did what we had to so we could generate some semblance of load • We often found real and serious performance issues • Compared to *not* cheating, we added increased value • But they were often not the “right” ones • We still couldn’t simulate production, and we still got burnedStretch Limited Hardware • We had the same issue with hardware, so we overloaded what we had • Again, we found real and serious performance issues • Again, it increased value, but again, we rarely found the “right” issues • And, again, we got burned in production
    • 1) Modifying Think Time: The Right WayThe only way to simulate production… …is to simulate production.Users Think… and Type • Guess what? They all do it at different speeds! • Guess what else? Its your job to figure out how to model and script those varying speedsDetermine how long they think • Log files • Industry research • Observation • Educated guess/Intuition • Combinations are best
    • 1) Modifying Think Time: The Right WayWhen you get it wrong, it’s… When you get it right, it’s… Not Frightening Frightening
    • 2) Extrapolating Capacity: The Wrong WayExtrapolating performance test results is black magic DON’T DO ITUnless you are, or were trained by, Connie Smith, Ph.D.The most common type of bad extrapolation… • 1 leg of an n leg system ≠ 1/nth capacity • Fractional virtual resources ≠ fractional capacityOther types of bad extrapolation... • Faster processors in production ≠ faster response time • More resources ≠ faster response time • Any extrapolation that presumes linear correlations
    • 2) Measuring Capacity: The Right WayRealistically, there are 3 ways to predict capacityTrust your gut & cross your fingers • Gut feelings are sometimes very accurate • They can also cost you your jobReverse cross-validate • Use post-release production data to modify & re-measure test environment • Use new results to make predictions for prod • Check new predictions vs. reality, revise repeatFind a way to run some tests in the actual production environment • You can learn a lot from loads below expected peak • A few of hours of scheduled maintenance in the middle of the night can change *everything*
    • 3) Modeling User Flows: The Wrong WayYou can’t test everything… …the possibilities are literally endless.Implementing functional use cases or scenarios… • Will have you scripting until the sun explodes, AND • Will regularly miss “easy” stuff by choosing and prioritizing poorlyPicking the most common, or most “important” flow • Is unlikely to catch the worst performance issues • Is likely to lead the application to be “hyper-tuned” for that scenario • Is likely to yield unwanted surprises
    • 3) Modeling User Flows: The Wrong Way
    • 3) Modeling User Flows: The Right WayTell lots of little lies? …No! FIBLOTS Common activities (get from logs) e.g. Resource hogs (get from developers/admins) Even if these activities are both rare and not risky SLA’s, Contracts and other stuff that will get you sued What the users will see and are mostly likely to complain about. What is likely to earn you bad press New technologies, old technologies, places where it’s failed before, previously under-tested areas Don’t argue with the boss (too much)
    • 3) Modeling User Flows: The Right Way
    • 4) Measuring Performance: The Wrong WayAll three have an average of 4.Which has the “best” performance”?How do you know?
    • 4) Measuring Performance: The Right WayNow which has the “best” performance”?